Yesterday the Crossroads band started the service with that great Black-Eyed Peas song, I Gotta Feeling. Although quite tired from having Kepler sleep with us all night, I perked right up when those chords started. “I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night.” (FUN song, but with the double fun of remembering the BEP singing it in Norman last year to open for U2.)
I had this idea a few weeks ago to invite all of Kepler’s classmates and families to a get-together at our house, just to get to know each other at the beginning of the school year. Kepler obviously doesn’t talk about his classmates, so I never know the first thing about any of them. With the addition of the deck and the trampoline in our backyard this summer, I suddenly felt like hospitality and I could be friends.
My invitation needed approval from the principal — don’t want to break any rules, I guess — and then traveled home with the kids in their backpacks. The RSVPs trickled in. I wondered if I had miscalculated since so few responded. As I called the non-RSVPers, I re-discovered the truth of how easy it to do the “urgent” thing, as most of the families had sports commitments that would preclude their involvement. Ah, but I realized that it was definitely going to meet a felt need in the guests that responded and in myself as well. Kepler’s beloved teacher and assistant teachers made time for the party and we loved having them there.
And it was a rousing success! I can now identify Drew, Tamara, and Eleanor when I walk into the classroom, and I sure feel like I got to know the parents much better. I loved seeing Greg having a good time. Food covered the table, and people raved about the hot caramel apple cider.
I thought maybe my original 3-hour time frame might have been a little over-optimistic, but apparently the food, fun, and friendship fit the bill. Quite a diverse group — parents from Mexico, Louisiana, Scotland, Kansas, and Ohio, and some really cool connections happened.
Kepler partied hard all afternoon and into the evening, but finally reached a point where he just wanted his familiar couch, a cup of milk, and a Zone bar. Kepler kind of spoke for everyone, and families began to gather up children and stuff and started home. The setting sun made us all put jackets and sweaters on, and the kids suddenly found their hunger and snarfed down as much as they could before leaving.
Easy clean-up; lots of help from Greg and the kids; and the satisfaction of a successful soiree. Looking forward to the next one!